This month we introduce Pier One Sydney’s Guest Experience Manager (GEM) - Maria Macri Nosari. A new position to look out for at the best five star establishments across the world, Maria’s role at the iconic Walsh Bay establishment is all about making guests feel special in a customised and unique way - a job she explains is one of the best in the world!

“I meet and look after people from all over, from different fields and cultures… we (Pier One) are people’s home away from home. We: take care of people, celebrate their special occasions, create unforgettable memories from holidays to birthdays, weddings and everything in between. It is my job to create special memories for our guests, all tailored to their requests and needs. We also create wonderful surprises to make their stay something out of the ordinary,” Maria says.
“GEMs are a new role that hotels have been implementing in the past few years across the world. As we travel so much more than we ever did before we need to take travel and the travel experience to a new level. Guests are looking for an experience to take away with them - as opposed to just a place to stay.”

Although hard pressed to nominate a top guest experience she has created, Maria has many ‘GEM’ anecdotes.

“We of course also have many famous actors, musicians and bands stay but I am always discreet about our guests. What I often think back on most fondly is when I have a hand in helping organising people’s most special days. Events like marriage proposals, birthdays and anniversaries. There are lots of small details that go on behind the scenes to make such moments perfect and unforgettable and these are the occasions I look back on with affection.

After living abroad and working in hotels around the world for close to two decades, returning to Sydney and in particular Walsh Bay is another real privilege for this affable GEM.
“When I arrive at the top of the stairs at Lower Fort street each morning on my way down to the Hotel I always stop and take in the view - it’s breathtaking and hard not to take a photo – every, single day! The water, Luna Park, the bridge, the piers, the people fishing….they all make up this wonderful Walsh Bay community. I never get tired of it and it’s a very inspiring way to start my working day.
I also love the history of the area and the great sense of community. There are so many great secret spots nearby that I tell my guests about that are ‘locals haunts’ that they can add to their special Sydney experience. I trust too they will always be looked after.

On the note of local business community goodwill, I had a bride getting married last Saturday and just two hours before the wedding she came to me and said; ‘I need my hair, make-up and manicure and pedicure done’! A tall order for some but I was able to walk her over to Marie-France Group and hand her over to Dominique. The hair and beauty team there were able to take care of her so she looked absolutely gorgeous when she hopped onto her water taxi for the ceremony a short time later. Walsh Bay is not only a historic and stunningly beautiful place but it has a unique, tight-knit business community that makes it all the more special.”